The Spanish state-owned rail operator, Renfe, has won a contract worth six billion dollars, (5.56 billion euros), to help build and then run one of its AVE high-speed lines from Houston to Dallas in the American state of Texas. The deal was confirmed by Transport minister, José Luis Ábalos, on Thursday.
It is reported to be the biggest international contract ever won by a Spanish company and is part of a Renfe strategy to diversify to other countries.
In the design and construction phase up to 2026, the company will bank 311 million dollars, (288 million euros). This will be followed by a maintenance contract from 2026 to 2042, where income should add up to 5,611 million dollars (5,200 million euros), according to a SER radio report.
The high-speed line between the fast-growing cities of Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth will run for 386 kilometres, with trains covering the distance in less than 90 minutes.
The preliminary deal to run the infrastructure was agreed last December. It will be the first AVE line in the US.
Last May, Renfe of America was set up as a company and the final contract will be signed with Texas Central Partners, the private firm behind the project.
Renfe is facing having its services in Spain, where it has a near monopoly, opened up under EU competition rules and so is looking to other markets.